The Paris attacks of November 13, 2015, demonstrate, if such a demonstration is still necessary, that the aim of new French intelligence laws is not to anticipate or prevent terrorist attacks, but simply to eliminate the private lives of French citizens. President Hollande’s statements that delays in implementing the law were behind the “failure” of the intelligence services are a denial of the fact that this legislation only confirms existing practices. The Law on Intelligence, just like the law on military planning, is mainly an attack on private freedoms. The state of emergency will likewise eliminate public freedoms.… Following the November 13 massacres, the government is already considering changes to the Law on Intelligence, with the aim of “eas[ing] the procedures the intelligence services must follow when they would like to use means of surveillance.” Yet this law does not establish any controls over the activities of the secret services. It does set up a National Control Commission, but this body has no effective possibility of carrying out its mission, and can only offer recommendations. It is not a question, then, of eliminating a control that does not exist, but of signaling that the very idea of monitoring the executive branch should be abandoned—a clear signal that no limitation can or should be placed on its actions.
Henry Giroux is a phenomenon. He has written more than sixty books, authored hundreds of essays, won numerous awards, and been an outstanding teacher for nearly forty years.… What distinguishes Giroux’s writing is a combination of lucid analysis and incisive and justifiably harsh criticism of the deterioration of the human condition under the onslaught of a savage modern-day capitalism. However, his examination of this savagery does not stop with a description of the vicious attacks on working people by corporations and their allies in government. Nor is it content to enumerate the economic, political, and social consequences of these assaults, such as the rise in poverty, stagnating wages, unconscionably high unemployment, deteriorating health, the astonishing increase in the prison population, and a general increase in material insecurity to name a few. Instead, he goes beyond these to interrogate the more subtle but no less devastating effects of neoliberal capitalism, and by implication capitalism itself, on our psyches and on our capacity to resist our growing immiseration.
Forthcoming in December 2015
In the United States today, the term “terrorism” conjures up images of dangerous, outside threats: religious extremists and suicide bombers in particular. Harder to see but all the more pervasive is the terrorism perpetuated by the United States. itself, whether through military force overseas or woven into the very fabric of society at home. Henry Giroux, in this passionate and incisive book, turns the conventional wisdom on terrorism upside down, demonstrating how fear and lawlessness have become organizing principles of life in the United States, and violence an acceptable form of social mediation.
Yesterday I had the satisfaction of having a pleasant conversation with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I had not seen him since 2006, more than five years ago, when he visited our country to participate in the 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement of Countries in Havana. During the summit, Cuba was elected for the second time as president of the organization for a three-year term.
I had become gravely ill on July 26, 2006, a month and a half prior to the summit, and could barely sit up in bed. Many of the most distinguished leaders who participated in the event were kind enough to visit me. Chavez and Evo visited me several times. One afternoon four visitors came by whom I will always remember: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; an old friend, Abdelaziz Buteflika, the president of Algeria; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran; and the vice minister of Foreign Affairs and current Foreign Minister of China, Yang Jiechi, on behalf of the leader of the Communist Party and the president of China, Hu Jintao. It was really an important time for me; I was in the midst of intense physiotherapy on my right hand that I had seriously injured when I fell in Santa Clara.
With all four I spoke about some of the difficulties facing the world at the time; problems that have become progressively more complex.
During our meeting yesterday, I noted that the Iranian president was absolutely calm and tranquil, completely unconcerned about the Yankee threats and, fully confident in the capacity of his people to confront any aggression and in the effectiveness of their arms —which, in large part, they produce themselves— to inflict an unpayable price on its aggressors.
In reality, we hardly spoke about the topic of war. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was focused on the ideas he had presented at the Main Hall of the University of Havana during his conference on the struggle of humankind: “Moving towards reaching and achieving peace, security, respect and human dignity as a fundamental desire of all human beings throughout history.”
I am convinced that Iran will not commit any rash actions that might contribute to setting off a war. If a war were to be unleashed, it would inevitably be completely as a result of the recklessness and congenital irresponsibility of the Yankee Empire.
I believe that the political situation surrounding Iran and the associated risks of a nuclear war that involves us all —regardless of whether one possess nuclear weapons— are extremely delicate because they threaten the very existence of our species. The Middle East has become the most troubled region on the planet, the same region that produces the energy resources vital for the world’s economy.
The destructive power and the mass sufferings caused by some of the weapons used in World War Two led to a strong movement to ban weapons such as asphyxiating gas and others. Nevertheless, conflicting interests and the huge profits made by arms manufacturers led to the production of crueler and more destructive weapons; modern technology has now added the means and material to build weapons that if used in a world war would lead to extinction.
I support the opinion, undoubtedly shared by all those with a basic sense of responsibility, that no country big or small has the right to possess nuclear weapons.
They never should have been used to attack two defenseless cities such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing and irradiating with horrible and long-lasting effects hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, in a country that had already been militarily defeated.
If fascism indeed forced the allied nations against Nazism to compete with this enemy of humanity in the production of such weapons, once the war ended and the United Nations was created, the first duty of this organization should have been to prohibit nuclear weapons without exception.
However, the United States, the strongest and richest power, forced the rest of the world to follow its lead. Today, they have hundreds of satellites that spy and monitor the entire world from outer space. Their naval, air and land forces are equipped with thousands of nuclear weapons; and they control the world’s finances and investments at their whim via the International Monetary Fund.
Analyzing the history of each Latin American nation, from Mexico to Patagonia, by way of Santo Domingo and Haiti, one can observe that each and every country, without exception, have suffered for 200 years, from the beginning of the 19th century up until today. And, in one way or another, they are increasingly suffering the worst crimes that power and force can commit against the rights of a people. Brilliant Latin American writers are emerging in an increasing number. One of them, Eduardo Galeano, author of the book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent that describes the aforementioned, has just been invited to open the prestigious Casa de Las Americas Awards as a recognition to his outstanding body of work.
Events happen incredibly fast; but technologies report them to the public even faster. On any given day, like today, important news comes out a dizzying pace. A cable report dated from January 11 states: “The Danish presidency of the European Union confirmed on Wednesday that a new series of more severe European sanctions against Iran, because of its nuclear program, will be discussed on January 23. The new sanctions will not only target the oil industry but also the Central Bank.”
During a meeting with international journalists, Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal said that “We will increase sanctions against the oil industry in addition to sanctions against financial structures.” This clearly demonstrates that, in order to impede nuclear proliferation, Israel can go on accumulating hundreds of nuclear warheads while Iran is not allowed to produce 20% enriched uranium.
Another article, from a respected British news agency, states that “China gave no hint on Wednesday of giving ground to U.S. demands to curb Iran’s oil revenues, rejecting Washington’s sanctions on Tehran as overstepping …”
The sheer tranquility with which the United States and civilized Europe carry out this campaign with incredible and systematic acts of terrorism is enough to shock anybody. Just look at these lines reported by another important European news agency: “The murder on Wednesday of Iranian nuclear specialist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan [a scientist at the Natanz nuclear plant] was the fourth attack to kill a leading scientist in the country in almost exactly two years.”
On January 12, 2010: “Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at Tehran University is killed when a booby-trapped motorcycle explodes outside his home in the capital.”
On November 29, 2010: “Two attacks target leading Iranian nuclear scientists on the same day. Majid Shahriari, a key member of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, is killed in Tehran by a limpet bomb attached to his car. His colleague Fereydoon Abbasi Davani is also targeted by a bomb attached to his car, but escapes.” The car was parked in front of the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran where both men worked as professors.
On July 23, 2011: “Gunmen shoot dead Dariush Rezaei-Nejad, a senior scientist who is reportedly associated with the defense ministry, and wound his wife as they waited for their child outside a Tehran kindergarten.”
On January 11, 2012 —the same day that Ahmadinejad travelled from Nicaragua to Cuba to give a conference at the University of Havana—, scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, “a deputy director at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, is killed in a car bomb blast outside the [Allameh Tabatabai] University in east Tehran.” As in previous years “Iran once again accused the United States and Israel.”
The killings represent a systematic and selective slaughter of brilliant Iranian scientists. I have read articles by known Israeli sympathizers who write about crimes carried out by Israeli intelligence services in cooperation with the United States and NATO as if they were the most normal occurrence.
At the same time, Moscow news agencies report that “Russia warned that in Syria a similar scenario is developing as to that in Libya, and added that this time the attack will be launched from neighboring Turkey.
“The secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said the West wants to ‘punish Damascus not as much for repressing the opposition, but because it is unwilling to sever ties with Tehran.’”
“…NATO members and some Persian Gulf states, operating according to the Libya scenario, intend to move from indirect intervention in Syrian affairs to direct military intervention…This time the main strikes forces will not be provided by France, the U.K. or Italy, but possibly by neighboring Turkey.”
“Washington and Ankara are now assumed to be negotiating a “no-fly” zone over Syria, where Syrian armed insurgents can be trained and concentrated, added Patrushev.”
News is not only coming out of Iran and the Middle East, but also from other parts of Central Asia near the Middle East. These reports show the great complexity of the problems that can arise from this dangerous region.
The United States has been led by its contradictory and absurd imperial policy to get involved in serious problems in countries such as Pakistan, whose borders with Afghanistan were drawn up by the colonialists without taking into account culture or ethnicities.
In Afghanistan, which defended its independence against English colonialism for centuries, drug production has multiplied in the wake of the Yankee invasion. Meanwhile, European soldiers, supported by drone airplanes and armed with sophisticated US weapons, carry out deplorable massacres that increase the people’s hatred and ward off any possibilities of peace. All this and other dirty actions are also reported by Western news agencies.
“WASHINGTON, January 12, 2012 – US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called the actions of four U.S. marines who urinated on corpses in Afghanistan “utterly deplorable” The video of the act was circulated in the Internet.
“’I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable…’
“’This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold…’”
In reality, Panetta neither confirms nor denies the action, and anyone, including the Secretary of Defense himself, may harbor doubt.
But it is also extremely inhumane that men, women and children, or an Afghani combatant fighting against the foreign occupation, be murdered by bombs dropped by drone planes. Another very serious incident: dozens of Pakistani soldiers and officials who safeguarded the country’s borders have been killed by these bombs.
Afghani President Karzai stated that the outrage committed against the bodies was “simply inhumane.” He asked for the US government “to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime.”
Meanwhile Taliban spokespersons declared that “over the last ten years, hundreds of similar acts have been carried out that were not reported…”
One even feels sorry for those soldiers, thousands of kilometers away from their family, friends and country, sent to fight in countries that they might not have even heard of during their school days, where they are assigned the task of killing or dying to enrich transnational companies, arms manufacturers and unscrupulous politicians who each year squander funds needed to feed and educate the uncountable millions of hungry and illiterate people around the world.
Many of these soldiers, victims of the trauma suffered, end up taking their own lives.
Is it an exaggeration to say that world peace is hanging by a thread?
Fidel Castro Ruz
January 12, 2012
A little over eight months ago, on February 21st of this year, I stated with complete conviction: “The NATO plan is to occupy Libya”. With that title I dealt with the subject for the first time in a Reflection whose content seemed to be the product of a fantasy.
I include in these lines the elements for the opinion that led me to that conclusion.
“Oil has become the principal wealth in the hands of the great Yankee transnationals; through this energy source they had an instrument that considerably expanded their political power in the world.”
“Upon this energy source today’s civilization was developed. Venezuela was the nation in this hemisphere that paid the highest price. The United States became the lord and master of the huge oil fields that Mother Nature had bestowed upon that sister country.”
“At the end of the last World War, it started to extract greater amounts of oil from the oil fields of Iran, as well as those in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Arab countries located around them. These became the main suppliers. World consumption progressively increased to the fabulous figure of approximately 80 million barrels a day, including those being extracted on United States territory, to which later gas, hydro and nuclear energies were added.”
“The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, not in the least resolved, which is suffered by humankind: climate change.”
“In December of 1951, Libya becomes the first African country to attain its independence after WW II, during which its territory was the stage for important battles between the troops of Germany and the United Kingdom…”
“Ninety-five percent of its territory is completely made up of desert. Technology permitted the discovery of vital oilfields of excellent quality light oil that today reach one million 800 thousand barrels a day along with abundant deposits of natural gas. […] Its harsh desert is located over an enormous lake of fossil waters, equivalent to more than three times the land area of Cuba; this has made it possible to construct a broad network of pipelines of fresh water that stretch from one end of the country to the other.”
“The Libyan Revolution took place in the month of September of the year 1969. Its main leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who, in his early years, was inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that were produced when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.”
“One can agree with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kinds of news, especially using the mass media. One has to wait the necessary length of time in order to learn precisely what is the truth and what are lies, or a mixture of events of every kind that, in the midst of chaos, were produced in Libya. For me, what is absolutely clear is that the government of the United States is not in the least worried about peace in Libya and it will not hesitate in giving NATO the order to invade that rich country, perhaps in a matter of hours or a few short days.”
“Those who with perfidious intentions invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, just as they did yesterday afternoon on Sunday the 20th of February, today received an fitting response from Foreign Affairs Minister Nicolás Maduro…”
“As for me, I cannot imagine that the Libyan leader would abandon his country; escaping the responsibilities he is charged with, whether or not they are partially or totally false.”
“An honest person shall always be against any injustice being committed against any people in the world, and the worst of all, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is getting ready to commit against the Libyan people.”
“The leadership of that war-mongering organization has to do it. We must condemn it!”
At that early date I had realized something that was absolutely obvious.
Tomorrow, on Tuesday October 25th, our chancellor Bruno Rodríguez will speak at UN Headquarters to denounce the criminal blockade of the United States against Cuba. We shall be closely following that battle which will once again make clear the necessity of putting an end to, not just the blockade, but the system that spawns injustice on our planet, squanders its natural resources and puts human survival at risk. We shall be paying particular attention to Cuba’s declaration.
I shall continue on Wednesday the 26th.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 24, 2011.
That brutal military alliance has become the most perfidious instrument of repression known in the history of humankind.
NATO took on that global repressive role as soon as the USSR, which had served the United States as an excuse for its creation, ceased to exist. Its criminal purpose became obvious in Serbia, a Slavic country, whose people had so heroically fought against Nazi troops in WW II.
When in March of 1999 the countries of this ill-fated organization, in its efforts to disintegrate Yugoslavia after the death of Josip Broz Tito, sent their troops in support of the Kosovar secessionists, they ran into strong resistance from that nation whose experienced forces were still intact.
The Yankee administration, advised by the Spanish right-wing government of José María Aznar, attacked the Serbian TV stations, the bridges over the Danube River and Belgrade, that country’s capital. The embassy of the People’s Republic of China was destroyed by Yankee bombs, several of the officials died and there could not have been any error as the authors alleged. Many Serbian patriots lost their lives. President Slobodan Miloševiс, overwhelmed by the power of the aggressors and the disappearance of the USSR, ceded to NATO demands and admitted to the presence of that alliance’s troops in Kosovo under the UN mandate; this finally led to his political downfall and subsequent trial by The Hague courts which were less than impartial. He died a strange death in prison. Had the Serbian leader resisted a few more days, NATO would have entered into a serious crisis which was on the point of exploding. The empire thus had much more time to impose its hegemony among the every more subordinated members of that organization.
Between February 21st and April 27th of this year, I published nine Reflections on the subject on the CubaDebate website; in them I amply dealt with NATO’s role in Libya and what, in my opinion, was going to happen.
Therefore I find myself obliged to synthesize the essential ideas that I put forth, and the events that have been happening as foreseen, just that now the central figure in that story, Muammar Al-Gaddafi, was seriously wounded by the most modern NATO fighter-bombers which intercepted and incapacitated his vehicle, he was captured while still alive and murdered by men that organization had armed.
His body has been kidnapped and exhibited as a trophy of war, conduct that violates the most basic principles of the norms of Muslim and other religious beliefs in the world. It is being announced that very soon Libya shall be declared a “democratic state and defender of human rights.”
I find myself obliged to dedicate several Reflections to these important and significant events.
I shall continue tomorrow, on Monday.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 23, 2011
Not because it was brutal or clumsy or anticipated was there any less indignation about the Yankee judge from the South Florida District denying René González, the Cuban anti-terrorist hero, the right to return to the heart of his family in Cuba after having served the unfair sentence imposed on him.… After a cruel and undeserved 13-year prison sentence, the United States government—that gave birth to monsters such as Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch who, as CIA agents had a hand in the exploding of a Cuban airliner full of passengers in mid-flight—forces René to remain in that nation, where he shall be at the mercy of unpunished murderers for three long years, under a regime described as supervised “freedom”. Still unfairly and vengefully imprisoned for long terms of confinement, are another three Cuban heroes, and another one sentenced to two life terms. That is how the empire responds to the growing world clamor for the freedom of these men.
I was left with no alternative other than to write two “Reflections” on Iran and Korea, which explain the imminent danger of war with the use of nuclear weapons. I have also expressed the opinion that one of them could be overcome if China decided to veto the resolution that the United States is promoting in the United Nations Security Council. The other is dependent on factors that escape any possibility of control, due to the fanatical conduct of the state of Israel, converted by the United States into its current condition as a strong nuclear power, which does not accept any control whatsoever on the part of the superpower. (more…)
Two days ago, I said in a few words that imperialism was unable to solve the extremely serious problem of drug abuse, which has become a scourge for the people all over the world. Today, I wish to deal with another issue that I consider of major significance.
The current danger that the United States attacks North Korea, following the recent incident in the territorial waters of the latter, could perhaps be thwarted if the President of the People’s Republic of China decides to exercise the right to veto—a prerogative that country totally dislikes—with respect to the agreements currently under discussion at the UN Security Council. (more…)
Yesterday, Carmen Nordelo Tejera passed away. She was the selfless mother of Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo, a Hero of the Republic of Cuba who is unjustly serving two life-sentences plus 15 years of imprisonment.
Whatever might be terrorism’s deep origins, whatever the economic and political factors involved in it, and whoever might be most responsible for bringing it into the world, no one can deny that terrorism is today a dangerous and ethically indefensible phenomenon, which must be eradicated.